Short Story Cycles

Consuming the Short-Story Cycle: Gender, Class and Consumption in Literary Meals

The short story has evolved to interweave the colorful clash of cultures within its representational terrains. In this paper I will argue that the short story cycle is embedded with opportunities for highlighting class disparities within and across cultures and that we can follow this trajectory by constellating the culinary motifs in Asian American transnational short story collections. Through the lens of genre theory and contemporary political developments in Pakistan and Thailand, I will examine the ways in which food serves contemporary short story cycles as both an international allegory (as opposed to Fredric Jameson’s formulation of national allegory in his article “Third-World Literature in the Era of Multinational Capital”) and as a point of departure for critiquing change in global infrastructure, specifically within the systems of consumption and cultural exchange. My argument is as follows: by following the motif of food across each of these collections we are able to read into the political concerns of each author and how they play into wider discourses of gender activism, globalization, and neo-liberalism.

from: “Consuming the Short-Story Cycle: Gender, Class and Consumption in Literary Meals” by Liane Al Ghusain



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